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It doesn’t happen to every crafter, but for a lot of us, the work that we do leaves our hands in pretty sorry shape some days. Maybe your skin is dry from washing off paint, clay or plaster. Maybe you have cuts and pokes from needles or wire. Maybe you have abrasions from working with cord or yarn. There are a lot of things that can take a toll on your hands. Of course, you don’t want to stop working, but it can get pretty painful if your skin is cracked, dry and injured.
There is hope though. I found something that works really well. Shea butter and gloves. The links there lead to what I use. Now, the gloves come with moisturizer in them, but it’s crappy and wears out quickly. What I do is take a bean-sized amount of the shea butter and rub it all over my hands. Get it on your nails and in every crack and crease. It will seem like a lot, but you want a fair amount of the stuff. And don’t worry about the smell, unrefined shea butter is a little pungent, but it wears off and it’s great stuff. After I rub it all over, I put on the gloves and go to bed. It’s a little weird at first, but my hands thank me so much when I do this.
I find that after a lot of wire-work, my hands are pretty cut up and hurting. Working with plaster or glue causes me to wash my hands a lot and that dries them out. Doing the shea and gloves thing once or twice a week keeps my skin soft and makes the little needle pricks and cuts heal so much faster. It’s also a really good thing to do in the winter when my hands get dry anyway. I also have a pair of ankle socks and I do the same thing to my feet when they get dry. It feels weird sleeping in fuzzy socks and gloves, but it’s worth it.